Food Road Trips: Foodie Dinners
From open-air gatherings on a farm to entire meals starring a particular vegetable, these food experiences showcase Ohio’s agricultural heritage and natural beauty.
Conservancy for Cuyahoga Valley National Park: The nonprofit that supports Ohio’s only national park sure knows how to throw a party. Its Clambake fundraiser brings participants to the Cuyahoga Valley Environmental Education Center in Peninsula, while its Topography event finds guests hiking the Ledges Trail prior to cocktails and appetizers at the Ledges Overlook followed by dinner in a meadow. forcvnp.org
Dine on a Covered Bridge: Each year, Marysville’s 1868 Pottersburg Bridge turns into the site of a convivial culinary gathering. Held over a single September weekend, the event kicks off Friday evening with a 100-person, four-course meal and live music. Saturday brings a barbecue dinner with local beer and wine, and Sunday morning offers a pancake brunch and nondenominational worship service. dineonacoveredbridge.com
On-Farm Dinners: Carriage House Farm’s slate of summer dinners bring a who’s-who of Cincinnati chefs to this 300-acre working farm in North Bend. The farm-to-table experience gives diners the opportunity to talk with the farmer who grew the food as well as the chef preparing it and culminates in an open-air meal. Menus can range from 10-course, small-bite dinners to dishes featuring hearty ingredients such as lamb and farm-raised venison. chf1855.com
Plated Landscape Dinners: Farmer and chef Ben Bebenroth’s Plated Landscape dinners bring 50 to 60 people together for what he calls an “earth-to-table” dining experience. Held at his farm in Cuyahoga Valley National Park and other locations throughout the region, each event delves into an ingredient or place. One menu highlighted freshly harvested asparagus, spring brassica and eggs at Spice Acres, while another featured lamb legs cooked over a fire at Whipps Ledges. spicecaters.com/plated-landscapes
Vegetable Showcase Series: The Culinary Vegetable Institute at The Chef’s Garden’s bimonthly dinner series focuses on a single vegetable presented multiple ways over a six-course meal. Those looking for a more in-depth exploration can opt for the Milan institution’s annual Roots conference. The three-day summit gathers culinary leaders and features cuisine-oriented panel discussions and communal meals. culinaryvegetableinstitute.com